North

Housing more affordable in North, says housing corporation

New figures from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation say housing in the North is more affordable than in the South.

But most northerners disagree, saying homeownership out of reach for average person

A house in Iqaluit costs about 3.7 times the average person's yearly salary in the city. Compared to the rest of Canada, where an average home costs about seven times the average yearly salary, homes seem affordable in the North. (CBC)

New figures from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation say housing in the North is more affordable than in the South.

The statistics looked at the average salary in the provinces and territories, and compared it to the cost of a house.

According to the CMHC, a house in Iqaluit costs just under four times the average salary, while the average Canadian will shell out seven times their income for a property.

"The economy there is growing three times faster than the rest of Canada. So thanks to that, folks enjoy a very high level of income," said Regine Durand, a market analyst for CMHC.

Durand said high incomes means housing is more affordable.

The average yearly salary in Yellowknife is $92,000 and the average home in the city costs about four times more than that yearly salary.

Houses in Iqaluit cost 3.7 times more than the average salary, while in Whitehorse, housing costs five times more than the average yearly salary.

In the rest of Canada, where the average salary is $52,000 a year, the average home costs seven times that amount.

So on paper, homes in the North are more affordable than in the rest of the country.

Northerners disagree that housing is affordable

But those who live in the North disagree that it’s easier to buy a house.

"The cost of housing is a little too expensive, I think. Which is a considerable problem, especially for younger people because they can't afford to buy housing," said Brock Junkin, who lives in Whale Cove, Nunavut.

Junkin said the problem of not being able to afford housing leads to generations of families living in one house, which creates tension and effects health and quality of life.

Blake Wile, who lives in Yellowknife, said housing in the city was more affordable 10 years ago.

Yellowknife realtor Della Fraser said there's also a solution to a big hurdle many first-time buyers face: coming up with the down payment.

"Most banks will lend you that five per cent down on a line of credit, or various different ways to do it," she said.